Radical Approach to Growing Barley Developed Between Global Giant, Suntory and UK Maltster, Muntons.
The Suntory Group, headquartered in Osaka and with a diverse global portfolio of consumer beverages including whisky, beer, gin and soft drinks, has signed up to an innovative regenerative agriculture trial with Suffolk based maltster, Muntons plc, to explore how barley can be grown in a more sustainable way to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and protect water.
The trial is a collaborative effort between The Suntory Group, award winning sustainable malt supplier Muntons plc, supply chain consultancy Future Food Solutions Ltd. and Norfolk-based barley farmers lead by Dewing Grain Ltd. In the first year of this sizeable pilot, which has begun with the 2022 autumn crop-sowing campaign, 16 farmers are dedicating around 400 acres specifically to the trial producing over 1000 tonnes of barley from spring and winter varieties. This will be made into malt by Muntons and be used in Suntory’s beer and whisky production from 2024.
The project will start by baselining all crop-related emissions, which will inform an innovative nature-based programme of interventions that seek to reduce emissions, enhance soil health and protect water, while maintaining crop performance and grain quality. The ambition is to produce barley with 50% lower GHG emissions within five years.
Adrian Dyter, Head of Procurement & Technical at Muntons plc, comments, “Muntons sees the importance of taking a practical and holistic view to reducing GHG emissions and we’re proud to have been the first maltster to develop a carbon calculator to help identify where the biggest impact of reductions can be made.
Malted barley contributes 39% and 41% to the carbon footprint of beer and whisky respectively. So, the success of this trial could pave the way for reducing the overall value chain of production by 20% in a single leap. We have invested heavily in reducing Scope 1 & 2 emissions and water conservation and have decarbonised our maltings by 83% since 2007. We are now looking to Scope 3 and collaborations with forward leaning farmers and drinks producers to help achieve ambitious net-zero goal of 2030 and vision to make a real difference.”
Regenerative agriculture is a sustainable farming method that reduces dependency on chemical fertilizers and pesticides through the use of cover crops and no-till farming. It not only lowers GHG emissions but also increases soil biodiversity, thus improving soil fertility and water retention, leading to sustainable use of agricultural land.
“Thriving agricultural systems is crucial to our business and we place regenerative agriculture as one of the core solutions in transitioning to sustainable agricultural practices,” said Brian Golden, Senior General Manager, Suntory MONOZUKURI Initiative, Suntory Holdings Limited. “We will further our collaboration with various supply chain partners to procure more sustainably and to decarbonise our value chain.”
Josh Dewing, Trading Director of Dewing Grain Ltd comments, “We’re delighted to be taking part in this Suntory initiative to trial low carbon farming. As an agricultural business that has taken sustainability very seriously for some time now, it is fantastic to see leadership on this issue from big brands looking to bridge that gap between producer and consumer. With the trial covering a huge amount of acreage, it has the potential to generate some really positive outcomes for the environment and demonstrate farming’s vital role in mitigating climate change.”
Steve Cann Director at Future Food Solutions said “Having the opportunity to build field-based collaboration involving global brands like Suntory and UK barley farmers, shows the added value that innovation partnerships can bring to the UK’s food and drink sector. Focusing on improving efficiency, lowering CO2 emissions, whilst also improving on farm biodiversity results in benefits for everyone, including the environment”
The pilot will focus on a number of sustainable farming techniques including inter-row cropping, growing cover crop mixes including varieties such as Siletina Oil Radish, Winter Rye and Oats, Berseem Clover and Phacelia using less invasive measures to prepare the land and optimising crop nitrogen use. Outcomes will be measured in terms of the amount of CO2 sequestered by the soil and the reduction in the amount of nitrogen needed to be added to the crop to produce healthy yields. This trial is part of a Suntory global programme with the aims of reducing carbon emissions and capturing CO2 in the soil.
Click here to discover more about Muntons sustainability
Muntons Launch PlantMalt for Clean, Plant-Based Food Full of Flavour
Muntons Launch PlantMalt for Clean, Plant-Based Food Full of Flavour
The plant-based market is booming but the challenges of meeting consumers’ high expectations in matching meat-based counterparts is keeping innovators busy. Working with an industry expert consultant and pulling on their own extensive knowledge of malt, Muntons is launching PlantMalt to help manufacturers achieve their best product range yet.
A comprehensive range of grain malts, liquid and powdered malt extracts specifically applied for the plant-based world, PlantMalt is a clean, sustainable range of malted ingredients to achieve flavour, texture, colour and mouthfeel getting much closer to meat-based alternatives.
Malt is a unique ingredient. Our 100% sustainable malt is derived from British barley and wheat and the time-honoured natural process of malting unlocks the sugars, enzymes and amino acids present in the grain. Malt brings an array of flavours and wide range of benefits to many different food products and now can bring the same benefits to plant-based foods.
Richard Platt, Senior Product Technologist at Muntons and one of the innovators behind PlantMalt
Richard Platt, Senior Product Development Technologist at Muntons, says, “As a team we fully immersed ourselves into the plant-based category, benchmarking the existing products we were able to understand the challenges that manufacturers are facing. We identified the common ingredients used and understood their functionalities, before creating our own plant-based burger, sausage and sliced deli-beef. Using our knowledge and experience of working with malt, we created a range of products that have substantial benefits in application. PlantMalt presents a range of clean-label, sustainable solutions to overcome some of the well-known challenges in the plant-based food industry.”
Our grains are soaked, sprouted, kilned, and then carefully processed into our clean label, plant-based ingredients. The unique malt flavours from our high-quality ingredients are a result of a Maillard reaction; a reaction between the reducing sugars and plant based amino acids created during the malting process. With experience of working with many of the world’s leading food and drink brands we have developed our malted ingredients, often to bespoke specifications, to help manufacturers enhance individual characteristics ranging from increased succulence to meatier flavours and improved colour.
Head of Marketing and Innovation for Muntons, Kate Dixon, adds, “Flexitarians make up 42 percent of the plant-based market and are responsible for driving the trend* motivating brands to create plant-based products that mimic the taste of meat. Health, sustainability, and ethics are also key to many consumers. Which is why, as the world’s greenest maltster, our ethically sourced 100% sustainable range of ingredients are so well placed to help.”
* Report from Euromonitor International.
Click here for more information about our PlantMalt products.
Muntons Helps Brewers Punch Above Their Weight in Fast-Growing Alcohol-Free Market
2022 Global Brewing Supply Award winners, Muntons, launched their Premium Alcohol Free Malt Extract back in March 2021 with the goal of helping all brewers easily produce 0% ABV beers that didn’t just taste good as alcohol-free beers, but tasted great as beers in their own right.
Now it is more important than ever to create full bodied and fresh tasting alcohol-free beers for a rapidly growing number of highly discerning consumers. The Non-Alcohol Beer market is the space to watch with revenue in this segment amounting to just shy of £300 million in 2022 and expected to grow annually by 12.68% (CAGR 2022-2025). Which is why specialist brewing technologists at Muntons have continued to focus on perfecting methodology and accessibility to this market by running free workshops for their brewery customers and now releasing an Expert Guide revealing new flavour ideas and techniques.
Rob Urquhart, NPD Champion & Brewing Technologist for Muntons passionately explains his work,
“By helping brewers more easily create their own styles of alcohol-free beer we hope to support a revolution. Increasing the richness of choice for consumers and improving the overall quality of great tasting alcohol-free beers.”
Rob continues, “In creating the recipe for our Premium Alcohol Free Malt Extract, which took our team over two years to perfect, we had to find the balance between bringing mouthfeel, depth and flavour to 0% ABV beers but keeping it versatile as a base to which brewers can add their own craft and personal approach reflecting their style.”
The result is an extract that is already being trialled in a significant number of breweries around the world and has been successfully used in commercial beers ranging from black lagers (see Good Karma), stouts to IPA’s and Pale Ales, including a Brussel’s Beer Challenge gold medal winner (Neon Rain from Mash Gang).
“With the help of the team at Muntons we embarked on a project to create a low ABV beer using their Premium Alcohol Free Malt Extract. I have a deep love of all things fermented and have had bad experiences with low ABV beers, so I was sceptical of the extract at first. I expected the project to take some time, but we liked the first prototype so much we entered it in the Brussels Beer Challenge hoping it would do well and didn’t disappoint – it won Gold!” Jordan, Mash Gang
So, the message to breweries is don’t delay. Download a free copy of the latest thinking on creating the best 0% ABV beers join the 0% Revolution today.
Click here for more information about the alcohol-free revolution
Click here to download the Alcohol-Free Brewery Guide
Muntons' Managing Director, Mark Tyldesley, listed on 2022 Suffolk 100.
The people and organisations helping shape the future of Suffolk have been recognised in the new edition of the Suffolk 100.
First produced by Archant in 2010, the Suffolk 100 profiles those who make a difference in the county.
The 2022 edition features senior business leaders from many of the county’s largest firms, which make such a vital contribution to the economic wellbeing of Suffolk and its people.
Alongside commercial organisations, the contribution of the public and third sectors is also recognised. Inspiring leaders from education, the arts and health sectors are listed, including those who played a key role in Suffolk’s response to the Covid pandemic.
The Suffolk 100 was opened up to public nominations, with the judging panel deciding the final list.
Bring the Magic of Tap Rooms Home with Muntons.
Having not had access to brewery tap rooms for much of the last two years, any intrepid craft beer lover has missed being the first to share in brewers’ innovations. This has inspired award-winning maltster and developer of leading home brewing beer kits, Muntons, to give you a way to bring the joy of the tap room home.
Muntons call it the Tap Room Series and it consists of four truly limited-edition styles of single can home brewing beer kits; Lazy Days, Simply the Zest, Higher Ground and One in a Melon. Muntons have only produced 1000 kits of each of these. Perhaps you could be one of the lucky few to try every style?
Muntons has worked closely with art enthusiasts within our home brewing community to give the packaging an artistic flair with each label featuring competition winning designs. The combination of unique artwork and innovative product perfectly reflecting the playful vibe of a community that is very serious about making their own outstanding beer!
Each beer will explore a different flavour palate and style. Lazy Days is a tropical IPA with notes of grapefruit and mango whilst Higher Ground is a coffee porter with smoky and roasted undertones. One in a Melon is a fresh and tangy example of the increasingly popular sour beer and Simply the Zest is a refreshing and zingy take on the classic Radler.
Nick Piper from Muntons is the brewer behind this innovation. He comments, “The Tap Room series is a celebration of variety in the beer industry. Hidden under railway arches and adorning industrial estates up and down the UK, many microbreweries offer us their take on new trends and reinvented classics through their tap rooms. This is our way of capturing that feeling and bringing it to the home brewer.”
Muntons’ Tap Room Series is available from UK retailers. Please ask at your local homebrew shop or click here to find your nearest stockists on the Muntons website.
Proud Winners of the Prestigious Cow Bell Award for Global Brewing Supplier 2022
(L-R) Adrian Dyter, Mark Tyldesley, Nigel Davies and Tim Stonehouse from Muntons were in Antwerp to collect the award.
Muntons is delighted to be bringing the prestigious Cow Bell
Award back to their global headquarters in Stowmarket having, once again, scooped Global Brewing Supplier of the Year at the 11th World Barley, Beer and Malt conference held in Antwerp, Belgium in March.
The Global Brewing Supply Awards recognise excellence in the supply of malt products to the brewing industry through transformative innovations, sustainability initiatives and supply chain agility.
Below is a short video of why Muntons has been recognised as global leaders in their field.
International Women's Day 2022
Wioleta Butrynowska - Malt Extract Shift Leader Muntons
I have worked for Muntons for 13 years now as a Shift Leader in the malt production plant and mill.
Juggling shift work with family life can sometimes present its challenges but once you have the routine of a work life balance set up it becomes much easier. It is still a male dominated industry to work in but I really enjoy what I do and have always been willing to challenge the status quo to bring about change.
I enjoy being part of a working group at Muntons called Stronger Together which is encouraging more diversity in the workforce by breaking down perceived barriers.
Sophie de Ronde- Head Brewer at Burnt Mill Breweries
I am Head Brewer of Burnt Mill Brewery and have been since it started back in 2017. I have been working in the industry for 14-15 years now starting my career off in a traditional real ale pub.
I fell into brewing almost accidentally; I needed some work post university and found a job behind a bar to see me through job application periods. It was here that I fell in love with beer and back then all craft beer was cask. I ended up running the cellar at the pub and managing the ordering and care of the bar and the cellar. As I was finding more out about beer, my interest grew and I wanted to learn more. I sought out a job as a brewer with a local microbrewery, Brentwood Brewing Company, and so my brewing career started. I learned the practical skills on the job and realised that my science degree was proving useful as well.
At Brentwood, I became head brewer through natural progression. I then moved to Muntons as a Brewing Technologist some 7 years later. Unfortunately, I discovered that I could not tolerate barley or wheat in any format and so I moved my career back to a brewery, Burnt Mill. I know it sounds crazy, but the exposure is minimal here and I don't do much on the production floor these days. I have had a really positive career path in brewing and love the industry we are in.
Since joining Burnt Mill Sophie has collaborated to launch International Women's Collaboration Brew Day with Unite Brew.
Laura Davies – General Manager for Distilleries at Penderyn Welsh Whisky
I didn’t ever actually plan to be a distiller – when I joined Penderyn 10 years ago I’d just completed a degree in Forensic Science with Criminology and was searching for my first ‘proper’ job, to start my career. If you advertise for a position within the whisky industry, you’re suddenly swamped with applications, because who wouldn’t want to work in the industry?!
So, the role at Penderyn was advertised anonymously, with no company name and with contact via a PO Box address. I took a chance and applied, thinking it would ‘do for now’…a few weeks later, I found myself sitting at a table with the directors of Penderyn, and Dr Jim Swan – a world-renowned expert in whisky.
After the usual interview questions, I was presented with 10 glasses and instructed to nose each one and describe in as much detail as I could what they contained – everything from cleaning fluids to spices. Fortunately for me, I passed the test, joining first as a Distiller, and now, 10 years later, I’m General Manager for Distilleries, overseeing all aspects of our distillery operations across 2 (soon to be 3) sites.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is of my own doing – a lack of belief in myself. I’m my own worst critic, but thankfully I’m surrounded by a great team who support me and don’t see me as a female in the industry, just as a colleague. One of the other challenges I’ve faced at times is the unconscious bias that still sits with some (by no means all!) consumers – to some people, a woman in the whisky industry is still a bit of a novelty, and it’s important to me to change their views on that.
Muntons enjoys another A Rating for Supplier Engagement on Sustainability
Muntons is delighted to be given the rating of A- for Supplier Engagement on Sustainability by the CDP. We are extremely proud of how actively engaged we are with our supply chain championing sustainability as one of our core business values.
Technical and Sustainability Director for Muntons, Nigel Davies, comments, "This is the second time Muntons has been recognised as having an outstanding impact on supplier engagement. I have made it a personal mission to demystify sustainability jargon and share our many examples of practical carbon emissions-busting projects. Muntons is aligned with a decarbonisation strategy across its supply chain that will protect our planet. The recognition by CDP of being exemplary in championing this reality through supplier interaction is welcome and will embolden us to continue pressing on with this important agenda”
CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. The world’s economy looks to CDP as the gold standard of environmental reporting with the richest and most comprehensive dataset on corporate and city action.
Read about some of the projects we have been working on in our Sustainability Report.
Celebrating Women in Science
Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science
11th February 2022
Ever wondered how our food and drinks look and taste so good? It's not magic. It's science. Well, with a little help from the magic ingredient of malt. We talked to Ebony-Rose Grant-Knox, who works for Muntons as a Laboratory Quality Control Analyst. She told us a little about why she chose a career in science.
Ebony-Rose Grant-Knox, Laboratory Quality Control Analyst
“I first got into science at school as I really enjoyed the practical side of it. Laboratories never felt intimidating to me and they presented an opportunity to answer questions with clear and categorical results.
Just like in my job at Muntons; every single malt extract is tested by me at several stages in our production process. Ensuring it has the ideal colour and qualities specific to the requirements of each of our customers. It’s amazing how very small variations in colour and concentration can lead to a dramatic change of colour and flavour in the finished product. I’m proud to say that it doesn’t leave our site unless it is cleared as the best quality by our lab.
I’m really enjoying my role in the lab, especially the social side of working here - as part of a strong team. It is also pretty varied as our customers are ordering bespoke variations to suit new innovations all the time.
There is no set route for a career in science. I followed my love of science at ‘A’ level, to a BSc in Bio Medical Science and then onto a Masters in Applied Bio Science.
I don’t believe you ever stop learning and, here at Muntons, I hope to be supported further in my career. Perhaps even to do a PhD.”
To understand more about what malt can do in food and drink visit our ingredients pages. Click here
If you are interested in becoming a women in science with Muntons, have a look at our careers pages. Click here
Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 7th -13th February 2022
Behind great malt, you will find great people. At Muntons we have always understood the importance of our people in delivering the best products and services to our customers. In order to ensure our production team is made up of the best in the business we support their entire career journey. As we celebrate Apprenticeships Week 2022 we share that apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers. We’ve been running our Management Trainee Programme, which is an apprenticeship scheme, for five years.
Dan Cooper, our Drum Maltings Manager based in Stowmarket, is one of ten apprentices across our UK business and has recently completed his ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification, with distinction.
"My Muntons journey started in April 2012 as a Malt Extract Shift Operator working in our Band Drier department. After three of shift work, I was given the opportunity to transfer into a process improvement role within our Malted Ingredients division. This proved the catalyst to being able to move on to the Graduate Management Scheme (GMS) the company offered.
After making the difficult decision to bypass university and instead take the less trodden path, my personal goal was to always get onto the GMS. At the time of applying for the scheme, my interviewer seemed impressed that my quest to gain experience and build knowledge through my career, and this appeared to be their favourite answer.
Seeing the success of individuals who had previously undertaken the GMS, progress through the company, was why I chose the scheme and the opportunity to gain a qualification.
The programme was fun, challenging and very rewarding, Muntons allowed us to put the theory from the classroom sessions into practice, while also supporting projects we had to complete.
The scheme has also allowed me to complete the Malting Diploma which is a qualification awarded by The Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain.
I would 100% recommend this route to others; university is not always an option and schemes like the Graduate Management Scheme allow you to further your education, gain qualifications and do so while earning a salary!"